An Afternoon at Keukenhof in April
It has been a year of spring visitors which means lots of visits to the tulip garden, Keukenhof. We hit the timing just about right by visiting Keukenhof in April. This time around we attempted an afternoon visit and took the boat ride through the flower fields.
In 2016, 2017 and in March we visited in the morning having the garden to ourselves for the morning. This time we headed to the garden after lunch. It was crazy when we arrived around 2pm but by 4:30pm the garden had cleared out completely. It was as empty as our previous morning visits and may be a good option if you can only arrive at the garden later in the day.
The food options in the afternoon are also better than what’s available in the morning. We loved all the food trucks on the lawn and should have eaten more around lunchtime. Around dinner the food trucks started to close down and our food options became very limited for dinner. If you plan on having dinner at the garden you might want to consider packing a picnic.
We also tried the boat tour for the first time. This boat tour is an additional €8. Tickets are purchased behind the windmill which is also where the boats board.
The ride takes 45 minutes and takes you through the flower fields directly behind the gardens. The tour includes a pre-recorded audio tour. The tour talks about the history of the tulips as well as the process of growing bulbs. The cut flowers are all grown in greenhouses. The boats are supposed to be whisper boats, but ours had some sort of motor issue and was quite loud.
The tour was quite pleasant. I only had the big little (6) with me at the time, so it was easy for him to sit and enjoy the audio tour. It is quite hard to really see the fields from the boat as you are below the fields. Despite the garden being in full bloom the tulips in the field were up but not open. The hyacinth however was in full fragrant bloom.
The flower gardens that line the canal on the way to the windmill are all the size of a typical Dutch garden. These are meant as inspiration for your own garden. These have always been some of my favorites to visit. This year’s Delft Blue garden is of course my absolute favorite.
I loved the use of the pottery along with the tulips. This would be a really fun use of pottery found in Delft’s antique markets. These pieces are often imitation pieces and look similar to but do not contain the seal denoting their authenticity.
I also had the chance to learn about the myth of the black tulip. My Big Little, who is now fluent in Dutch, helped me ask about the flowers. These dark colored flowers are actually purple. Farmers bred dark red tulips with yellow tulips to get dark blooms that look black. It can take upwards of 15 years to breed a new tulip and bring it to market.
The Big Little also loved the playground this year. He did not come to the garden last year, so it was amazing to see him master the higher elements on the playground this year.
He has become so used to Dutch playgrounds and now easily plays with all the other Dutchies. It’s a huge change from our first visit to Keukenhof.
I know you really just want to see the amazing photos from this year’s Keukenhof show. Here are just my favorite photos from and afternoon visit to Keukenhof in April. . .which are perhaps more than you really wanted to see in the first place.
I love visiting Keukenhof and seeing this amazing garden. It will be something I miss when we move from here. I look forward to the designs each year and getting to see such beautiful flowers in bloom in quantities that you can only really imagine.
In our three years of visits the flowers have peaked at different times each year. Keukenhof makes sure that there is something worth seeing so go enjoy your visit whenever you can make it. You are sure to have a great visit.